In another not-so-shocking move the EPA blocked more drilling, this time off the coast of Alaska. Shell had spent 5 years and almost $4 billion on their plans to explore and drill for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Shell decided it must scrap the drilling efforts after the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board chose to withhold air permits.
It seems Shell ignored the emissions of an ice breaker ship when filing their proposal. This utter lack of disregard wrecked havoc on the models. These models show the drilling would bring air pollution levels close to the standards. Now I know what all my liberal friends must be thinking: That’s exactly what the government should do! They should be protecting the air and lives of the communities this would impact. Well, before you get all excited and run out to hug a tree, know this—the nearest community is 70 miles away. It’s Kaktovik Alaska and it is one of the United States’ most remote locations. With a population of around 245 it’s not exactly a booming metropolis. To further infuriate Shell this same permit would take 45 days to be awarded in the Gulf of Mexico, where the program is run by the Department of the Interior.
So what did the United States give up to protect these 245 from their air quality getting close to the set standards? The EPA cost Americans approximately 27 billion barrels of oil. To put that number in perspective it is about two and a half times more oil than has already flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline over its 30 year lifetime. Let me summarize this for those of you educated by the NEA. With the pipeline operating at 1/3 its capacity and as Alaska’s North Slope continues to see a decline of about 7 percent, the EPA has killed a massive undertaking to make an American oil reserve useful.
Gas prices continue to rise, threatening to turn our Great Recession into Great Recession Dos and the EPA does nothing. And why should they? President Obama already told the Brazilians we’d love to buy oil from their off-shore drilling operations. The EPA is just keeping step with the tone liberals in Washington are setting. After implementing a drilling moratorium many of the rigs left the Gulf of Mexico for Brazil. After a court ordered the moratorium lifted it still took months to issue a single new exploration permit (after being found in contempt of court).
Once again, this administration has shown nothing but callus and a complete disregard for sound economic policies. Four unelected, registered Democrat bureaucrats are preventing the United States from utilizing the resources we have in our own territory. Instead, we must continue to rely on shaky “allies” and second-world countries for our energy needs. These countries are not reliable, nor as clean as the US. The problem at America’s pumps is getting worse. As gas prices rise it will impact every transaction in this country, yet we continue to suffer because the EPA is worried about the possibility expanded drilling might rise air pollution levels. Rather than rely on fossil fuels our nation’s current leadership wants to move towards processes that make up less than 1% of our energy production (wind & solar). This Administration’s EPA needs to get out of the way and let private industry grow. Without government bureaucrats in the way, our country would have access to the carbon fuels we so desperately need. These policies would be laughable if they weren’t so dangers. We need to stop handicapping ourselves and DRILL BABY DRILL!